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Aug. 26 virtual concert features music inspired by poems of Sudburian Thomas Leduc

Cambridge composer Owen Bloomfield used Leduc’s book ‘Slagflower’ as his muse
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Cambridge, Ont. composer Owen Bloomfield invites you to the world premiere of his new song cycle, Slagflower Songs. 

The webcast concert starts at 8 p.m. Aug. 26.

Slagflower Songs uses the poems of former Greater Sudbury poet laureate Thomas Leduc, specifically set from his publication Slagflower: Poems Unearthed from a Mining Town (Latitude 46 Publishing). 

The concert also includes vocal works from other projects by Bloomfield with texts by Rae Crossman of Kitchener and Lawrie Crawford of the Yukon.

Performers include Marion Samuel-Stevens, soprano, Irene Gregorio, piano, and Tilly Kooyman, bass clarinet all of Guelph, Ont.

Production of the webcast will be provided by Waterloo Region’s Chestnut Hall Music. The production gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Region of Waterloo Art Fund. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at www.owenbloomfield.com/slagflower.

Leduc’s book Slagflower: Poems Unearthed From a Mining Town was published in 2019. 

Bloomfield immediately took to the poems. Always on the lookout for texts to set to music, he quickly recognized the potential for a collaboration. Five poems were chosen: “Tremors,” “Shiftwork,” “My Calendar,” “Slagflower” and “Stepping Stones (for Stephanie).”

Each of the poems represents a different section of the book as well as a different aspect of life working for a mining company or being in a relationship with someone in that work. 

They also touch on the intergenerational effects of working the mines. There is also an instrumental piano interlude inspired by the poem in the collection called “Cigarette Satellite.”

Other pieces on the program are works for voice composed by Bloomfield over the past 20 years.

They include stand-alone songs and pieces from larger works like cantatas and large interdisciplinary works.

In a recent conversation, Leduc said how he has “worked on many projects like putting poetry on city buses and trails but this is the first time someone has put music to some of my poetry… The poems Owen chose are some of my favourites and I am truly excited to hear them lift off the page and dance to our ears.”